A New Practitioner: Cultivating Myself at Work
(Minghui.org) I am a Dafa disciple who started to practice Falun Dafa in 2017. I would like to take this opportunity to report on how I cultivated myself in my everyday job, and how Master Li (Falun Dafa's founder) helped me resolve my problems after I figured out the right approach.
My Working Environment Changes When I Consider Others First
I have been working as a teacher for the past two years. I don't use WeChat, but some school announcements are communicated through WeChat. Thanks to Master’s arrangements, my colleagues use various methods to inform me of school notices, so I wouldn't miss out on work notices even when I didn't have WeChat. But after the pandemic began, all teachers had to work from home, so there was no way for me to receive the school's notices from my colleagues.
The grade supervisor knew that I did not have WeChat, so every time there was a school notification, she would notify me individually. Over time, she became a little impatient, so she complained to the vice principal about the fact that I don't use WeChat. She said that this affected some of my work for school. The vice-principal called me, expressed his concerns, and asked me to install WeChat within a day or two.
Because the grade supervisor made a habit of reporting on teachers to school management, other teachers had complained about her. I also felt a little dissatisfied with her in my heart. But I knew that practitioners should not resent anyone, so I tried to restrain myself from having these bad thoughts. Although I didn't install WeChat like the vice principal told me to, I didn't try to confront our school management either.
Master said: “But normally when a problem arises, if it does not irritate a person psychologically, it does not count or is useless and cannot make him or her improve.” (Lecture Four in Zhuan Falun)
A few days later, I was once again tested. It was the weekend, and my phone had been muted. When I finally checked it in the afternoon, I found seven or eight missed calls, including those from the vice-principal, the grade supervisor, my colleagues, and several unread text messages. I quickly called my grade supervisor, who told me there was an online school-wide teachers' meeting going on right now.
I hung up and immediately logged on to the online conference. As soon as I logged in, I heard the vice-principal scolding me before all my colleagues. I explained that my phone had been muted and that I didn't hear any calls.
He became even more outraged, saying that he sent out the notification via WeChat yesterday. I've forgotten what he said after that, but it was unpleasant. What's more, there were school leaders and many other teachers at the meeting. It was really embarrassing to be scolded in front of so many people.
My resentment was just about to come up: "If the grade supervisor hadn’t reported me to the school management, the vice principal wouldn't be scolding me at this meeting."
I immediately realized that my thought was wrong and began to force myself not to resent anyone. But when I tried to suppress it, the thought came up again and was not eliminated completely.
Later, I began to think of Master's words: “...consider others when doing anything.” (Lecture Four in Zhuan Falun) I realized that my grade supervisor was not obligated to notify me individually every time a notice went out, but she did anyway, and I should thank her. Furthermore, she may not have “reported” me but just mentioned her situation to our vice-principal in passing. I shouldn't always think people have bad intentions.
While thinking of that, I suddenly felt that my grade supervisor was actually very nice and that I was the one who didn't do well. After that realization, I no longer had any resentment for her. Later, when I called the vice principal to apologize, he seemed to have forgotten about what happened. He didn't even mention WeChat and didn't tell me to install it.
Later on, the grade supervisor not only kept sending me the school notices individually every time but also took special care of me and looked out for me. When I had righteous thoughts, the tribulation was resolved. Thank you, Master!
Considering Others First to Resolve Grievances with Colleagues
When I first started teaching, the school arranged a mentor for me, Ms. Zhao. She is the same age as me and we both teach the same grade, but she had more experience.
At first, I respectfully asked her for advice and wanted to learn about the students' situation and their homework. To my surprise, she came up with a straight face, rolled her eyes, and said in a weird tone, "You can do whatever you want, I don't know." She then closed her door in my face. I felt a little uncomfortable.
Another day, I entered her office to find that she was talking about me while everyone in the room was laughing. She looked embarrassed when I came in, so I simply asked my question and left. Although I was not angry at her, my impression of her got worse.
That was just the beginning. She often made trouble for me after that. For example, before her exams, she would leak the exam questions to her students. That meant her students scored higher than my students. Thus, I was often called in for talks with the administrators. As a new teacher who'd just started her teaching career and wanted to do well, I was really frustrated. Fortunately, I knew that I was a cultivator and that I shouldn't be like ordinary people. Whenever I was interviewed by the school management, I never said anything unfavorable about Ms. Zhao; instead, I looked inward for my own problems.
In addition to teaching, I was also assigned the position of an experimenter. The experimenter's duty was to prepare the materials for lab classes. It was a hard job and paid very little, so no one wanted to do it. When the school assigned me this position, I thought that, because I was a new teacher, I was supposed to do more hard work. So I took the job.
However, I got pregnant not long after taking this job. The administrators worried that I wouldn't be able to keep up with the work and asked me what my plans were. In order not to cause extra trouble, I continued doing the job.
Testing My Tolerance
I originally thought that Ms. Zhao would not arrange many experiments for me since I was pregnant. However, she added more experiments than usual. Moreover, all of these experiments were divided into student group experiments and teacher demonstration experiments, so my workload multiplied. At my busiest, I would work from morning to night. I could only rest for a short while at lunch.
That was very hard work for a regular person, not to mention a pregnant one. Sometimes when I got off work, I was too tired to stand up and my husband had to take me home. I often didn’t have time to prepare my own lesson plans because I spent too much time preparing for the experiments. So my students’ grades were low. Moreover, Ms. Zhao had high requirements for her experiments. When I failed to meet her requirements, she would yell at me regardless of the occasion. Slowly, my grievances against her accumulated.
Through studying the Fa, I knew that I should not resent her––maybe I owed her from a past life. However, sometimes a bad mood would still come over me. Because I cultivated alone and there were no other practitioners around me, I had nobody to go to for help. My friends gave me suggestions that were ordinary people's methods, but I didn't want to fight with Ms. Zhao. It was hard to cultivate my mind during that time.
Later, I took maternity leave, and all the disputes in school seemed to have nothing to do with me anymore. But after maternity leave was over, it came time for me to resume my duties again.
Ms. Zhao continued to ask me to prepare the experiments. When I thought about those extended workdays before my maternity leave, I was scared. My child was still little and I didn't have the energy to prepare experiments.
During that time, I didn't take the perspective of thinking "for others.” I completely thought about myself. I insisted on not giving in and refused to take the experimenter job. At the worst point of the conflict, I almost yelled at Ms. Zhao, who also had a few sharp words for me. We left in anger and disagreement.
When I got home, I thought: From the standpoint of the Fa, I fought with ab ordinary person and didn't consider others. I definitely did not do the right thing. However, I made an excuse for myself––my child was little and I could not work overtime, so I would not be able to finish the work on time.
Looking back now, I did not regard the Fa as the most important thing, and I didn't completely believe in the Fa. I didn't believe that Master would arrange everything for me.
Soon, due to the Wuhan coronavirus, schools were closed and all classes were moved online. There was no need to prepare lab experiments anymore. Only then did I realize that everything was in Master's control. All these tribulations were just for the sake of improving my xinxing. I regretted what I did and all the harm I caused other people.
This time, I really understood Ms. Zhao's perspective and re-examined the grievances between us. Although she arranged a lot of experiments for me to prepare, she explained the process and precautions for every one of them in detail. Wasn't she just teaching me how to do things?
She sometimes lost her temper because she was not satisfied with my work, but that was because she was serious about her job and I was not doing well enough. Wasn't that something I should learn from her?
Also, during my maternity leave, she took on one of my classes for half a year, which was extra work for her. Not only did I not thank her, but I also fought with her because I was assigned the experimenter role. She was probably so sad! The more I thought about it, the guiltier I felt. My resentment for her evaporated, as if all the previous grudges between us had nothing to do with me.
After returning to school, I sincerely expressed my gratitude to her at our school-wide teacher's meeting and thanked her for her silent contribution during my maternity leave. I saw her lower her head, but I could feel her listening attentively.
When we were assigning tasks this semester, she asked me to prepare the lab experiments, and I readily agreed. She was surprised and said, "I had several plans in my mind, but I didn't expect you to accept my first plan. Thank you for your cooperation."
Only then did I realize how much my "tit for tat" mentality had affected others. After I really let go of my resentment, Ms. Zhao was like a different person. She kindly explained everything to me and took the initiative to help me out when things got tough. I can really feel what Master said:
"And human notions change,The degenerate things purged,Brightness now shines forth "("Born Anew" in Hong Yin, translation version A)